Innovations and new issues emerge each year that have an impact on the construction industry. We aren’t even a full quarter into 2020 but analysts have already released predictions on where the construction industry will be heading this year.
On average, full-time employees in the construction industry work 44.2 hours per week and have an average annual salary of $56,014. Part-time employees in the same industry work 23.4 hours and earn an average annual salary of $23,322. According to ACS estimates, the number of people employed in the construction industry has been growing at a rate of 2.74%, from 8.82M people in 2017 to 9.07M people in 2018, and employment of construction laborers and staff is projected to grow 11% between 2018 and 2028. (Considerably faster than the average for all other occupations).
New Year, New Technology
New technology innovations can help save money and improve productivity within the construction industry. Plus, technology is at the core of other construction trends as well.
Technology apps and programs are now integrating with each other and provide the possibility for users to manage just about all areas of a construction project. This equates to less time trying to learn several different software programs and offers more time to becoming an expert in just one.
Besides new apps and software, there are other types of technology in the market that are supporting the growth and efficiency of construction jobs. Drones, 3D printing, and BIM technology are growing within the residential sector and helping projects run more seamlessly.
Increased Safety Equipment
Another trend that will continue into 2020 is seeing improved standards and better safety equipment products. Many safety trends are actually utilizing many of the technological advancements that people commonly use in their personal lives. Fitness trackers, for instance, do more than just track our steps. There are now other types of wearables besides watches — some types of work boots can connect to Wi-Fi and will send coordinates to managers if a worker has fallen or is showing signs of being overly tired. This technology is not yet commonplace, there are many changes that are being rolled out to ensure the safety of workers.
Employment and Employers
The construction industry has high employment projections and is expected to see large growth over the next few years. For construction and extraction, 758,400 new jobs are projected by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
However, there has been a lack of skilled professionals in the industry and this has proven to be a problem for future growth. An Associated General Contractors’ survey shows that 75% of construction firms expect to add employees, but 78% of these companies are having trouble finding qualified workers.
The construction industry has a ton of jobs with a large range of specialties and many employers are looking to get these jobs filled. Employers in the construction industry are categorized as the following:
- Consultants: Consultants plan and design construction work. They understand the design needs and transform into a plan. Plans are very detailed and include accurate quantities, costs, and methods needed to complete the project. Consultants can be architects and surveyors.
- Contractors: A contractor physically builds the design plan to the specifications. They are on the construction site, interpreting the plan as it comes to reality. These roles include a range of disciplines from brick masons to machinery operators.
- Subcontractors: These are people employed by contractors to do ‘specialized work’. They might be specialists in foundations, steel or electricity, and are needed to complete tasks that require specific training or experience.
Careers for Problem Solvers
Prospective construction workers have many different roles to choose from, as the industry is clearly in need of skilled workers. Some of these roles require specific academic qualifications, such as architects and engineers, but others only need a reputable apprenticeship.
Whatever the specific role is, they all require problem-solving skills and the ability to work with a large number of tools and materials. Workers can fine-tune some of these skills for specialty roles or remain working in a general part of construction.